Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

January 21, 2013

Local airport on radar in theft

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — A recent break-in and costly theft at Pauls Valley ıs airport now has a whole group of local and even federal authorities on the case.

Local officials said this week the theft here back in late December could have been part of a bigger ring as it ıs possible a number of small airports have been targeted.

PV ıs assistant police chief, Derrick Jolley, said the similarities of at least two of the thefts means they could have been committed by the same person or persons.

This is an active investigation, Jolley said. “We’re working with other municipalities, the McClain County Sheriff ıs office and federal authorities.”

“Our guys are very active with this one every day making phone calls, chasing leads.”

The good news is some of the aircraft equipment stolen back on Dec. 29 at Pauls Valley Municipal Airport has been recovered out-of-state.

When the incident was reported officers learned two hangars were targeted but only one single engine propeller driven aircraft victimized.

”A lock was cut off one of the hangars and an aircraft inside had been burglarized,” Jolley said.

“It created a lot of damage to the aircraft when they were in the process of stealing the equipment.”

Taken from that one airplane was navigation and communications equipment valued at thousands of dollars.

Another hangar at the PV airport also had a lock cut off but nothing appeared missing from inside.

Police were told whoever was responsible for the break-in and theft had a working knowledge of aircraft equipment and could potentially have flown into the local airport before committing the crime and flying back out.

It was also learned a theft occurred in the small airport at Goldsby, located just south of Norman. Radios were reportedly stolen from an aircraft there.

”A similar incident took place in Goldsby and possibly in Ardmore,” Jolley said. “They were almost identical crimes.”

A police report show similar incidents have possibly occurred at other small airports in parts of the state.

The thefts at the Pauls Valley and Goldsby airports and possibly others in the region are being investigated by municipal and county authorities who are working with a federal team, he said.